Unencrypted Traffic On The Tor Network Reveals Sensitive Data.

✨ Megiddo

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Many developers using Tor code in their applications mistakenly believe that it encrypts HTTP traffic.

Security researchers Adam Podgorski and Milind Bhargava have developed a way to profile users of the Tor anonymous network by collecting and analyzing data from Tor output nodes. According to the researchers, they managed to collect data on specific owners of mobile devices such as GPS coordinates, web addresses, phone numbers and keystrokes on the keyboard.

As Pogorsky and Bhargava discovered, the anonymizer and the Tor network transmit unencrypted mobile traffic without the knowledge of users. Researchers have determined that 95% of the traffic comes from Android devices, and 5% from iOS devices. Traffic came from mobile applications installed by electronics manufacturers, mobile operators and users themselves. “We believe that the source of unencrypted traffic is the Tor code installed on these devices, and users don’t suspect anything,” said Bhargava.

Although Tor Project has its own Android application called Orbot, third-party developers often use Tor functionality in their applications. They mistakenly assume that all Tor traffic is either encrypted by default or transmitted anonymously. Many people do not raise the principle of Tor and believe that it can be used to make unencrypted HTTP traffic encrypted.

Researchers do not disclose the names of the leaky applications, nor their manufacturers. However, according to them, this includes a wide range of programs, ranging from the most popular to the little-known. About four months ago, Pogorsky and Bhargava reported the problem to all developers of vulnerable software, but still have not received any answer from them.
 
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